NTT DOCOMO, NEC strike 5G base station equipment supply deal

11 May 2018

NEC Corporation today (11 May) announced the signing of an agreement with Japan’s largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers, NTT DOCOMO, for the supply of 5G equipment to support the latter’s planned commercial launch of the next generation of cellular services in 2020. Under the agreement, the vendor is slated ‘to carry out development that enables existing communication equipment, such as high-density base station equipment, to be fully compatible with 5G,’ it said. NEC began deploying high-density base station equipment for the cellco in February 2015, which it notes is already compatible with the advanced Centralised Radio Access Network (C-RAN) architecture advocated by the MNO, and that is now being utilised as a base station control unit, NEC confirmed. ‘Moreover, following a software upgrade, an advance in communications from LTE to LTE-Advanced has been achieved,’ it added in a statement.

‘DOCOMO aims to deploy and expand our commercial 5G services efficiently by maximising the use of existing communications equipment,’ said Hiroshi Nakamura, CTO at DOCOMO, adding: ‘This agreement with NEC is in line with that policy and we expect it to make a significant contribution to our 5G services. Going forward, DOCOMO accelerates co-creation of new services and businesses with vertical industry partners.’